Lent is rapidly approaching -- just one week till Ash Wednesday. As I was getting things ready for my annual retreat, I was wondering what I could share with you before I go. Then I came across this story:
There was a beggar sitting on the same road for 30 years and when a stranger came upon him, the beggar asked if he had any change to spare. The stranger said he didn’t have anything he could give the man. Then the stranger asked, “What are you sitting on?”
“A box, just a box. I’ve been sitting on it for 30 years.”
“What is in it?” asked the stranger.
“Don’t know because I never opened it, just sitting on it,” the beggar said.
So, with a little persuasion, the beggar struggled to open the box. When he finally got it opened, he discovered it was filled with GOLD coins!
Sometimes we are sitting on the exact treasure we are looking for. So, what do we need to do? Well, we need to open the box. In today’s fast paced world, time and reflection are of the essence. Here is where our special time of Lent comes in. We have 40 days to take a breath and spend some time reflecting on our own treasures that may be locked up in a box we have been sitting on for years.
How do we accomplish that? Well, most parishes, faith groups, or individual programs afford us the opportunity to discover our treasures. Whether it be a parish mission, a day of recollection, or a daily Lenten reflection booklet, there are many ways we can come to open our boxes. St. Paul reminds us that “We hold a treasure not made of gold” (2 Cor 4:7).
As this last week before Lent begins, make some time to see what is available to help you open your box and discover your treasure. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you discover in your box! Each of us is worth it and if you should need some encouragement, find a friend to journey with you this Lenten season. Sometimes having a companion on the journey is a good thing.
Till Ash Wednesday,